Summary: Solomon, the richest man in the world, made this observation: "Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings - they fly away as an eagle toward heaven." Prov. 23:5
MONEY - it is the most important value in American society, it is absolutely essential for existence, it is one thing almost everyone wishes they had more of, it is the subject which causes more family arguments than all others combined. Solomon, the richest man in the world, made this observation: "Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings - they fly away as an eagle toward heaven." (Prov. 23:5 kjv) Or, as the "modern philosopher" said: "That money talks, I’ll not deny, I heard it once, it said, ’Good-bye.’"
The subject of money is mentioned numerous times in the book of wisdom. But is money good or evil? It is neither! However, our attitude toward money, and our use of money, can be good or evil, according to God’s Word.
So even before we turn to see what Proverbs has to say about "money matters," let’s seek to answer the question: "What is a ’Christian attitude’ toward money?"
Let me mention four key attitudes:
1. "God is the source of all our resources"
*James 1:17 "Every good gift and
every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
In *John 3:27 John the Baptist said,
"a man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from above."
In *Deut. 8:17, 18 Moses warned,
"[Beware, lest you]say in your heart, ’My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth. And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers as it is this day."
So praise God for every resource you have. They all come from Him and thus belong to Him.
2. "We are the stewards of God’s property"
*Luke 16:1&2; 10-12 "And He [Jesus] also said to His disciples: ’There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ’What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward. He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous money, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?"
God will indeed hold us accountable for how we use that which He has entrusted to us. This applies both to material and spiritual resources.
*1 Cor. 4:1&2 "Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful."
3. "Our most important investments are heavenly"
*Mt. 6:19-21 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Our responsibility is not to "lay up" a
great fortune on earth, but to invest all our resources (time, talent and treasure) on that which will last forever. What one "earthly thing" is everlasting? PEOPLE! Let’s invest in "heavenly treasures" - the salvation, growth and blessing of PEOPLE!
*Prov. 13:7 (nkjv) "There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches." (heavenly treasures)
4. "We should trust God to provide for all our needs"
*Mt. 6:31-33 "Therefore do not worry,saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the unbelievers seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
God has committed Himself to provide for the necessities of His children. If we are poor, we must believe God will keep His Word. If we are well-off, we must never trust in our riches, but always trust in the One who provided them.
*Heb. 13:5 "Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have for He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you or forsake you.’"
*Prov. 10:3 "The Lord will not allow the righteous one to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked."